The new year in Seattle kicks off with the implementation of new regulations that will increase delivery costs for consumers and reduce orders for businesses and the app-based workers they partner with.
The App-Based Minimum Pay standard, which was passed by the previous city council in 2022, takes effect on Saturday, Jan. 13 and mandates that app-based delivery drivers earn more than $26 per hour, before tips, for time on delivery plus additional pay for mileage. This new rate far exceeds the city’s minimum wage, and will affect more than 40,000 independent workers in the city, forcing many third party delivery platforms to make drastic changes to their operating models in the city One delivery service, Shipt, has already announced plans to halt deliveries in Seattle because of the new regulations.
The new standard is an arbitrary and completely untested regulation — mandated without any research or data about how it could impact Seattle’s economy and based on a random set of variables selected by the previous city council. The direct result: those who rely on delivery services most – elderly residents, people with disabilities and working families – will pay more, while local businesses and app-based delivery workers will see fewer orders.
Thousands of Seattle residents say they choose app-based work for its flexibility, as well as the opportunity to generate additional income on their own terms. Seattle’s new regulations and costs will have negative impacts for everyone – businesses, workers and customers alike.
If there is one bright spot to the start of 2024, it’s the seating of a mostly new council, led by their new president, Sara Nelson, who said she is open to a “reset in tone” in the way the council does business. Going forward, the City Council should consider the impacts of legislation first, before implementing it. They should repeal this earnings standard that nearly doubles the minimum wage and any other app-based ordinances that may have negative impacts on businesses, delivery drivers, and consumers alike until its impacts are fully understood.